More often than not, dealing with pests is part and parcel of every homeowner’s journey. As long as you own a house, you will have to encounter various insects invading your property. Pests gain access to your home in countless ways. They may hitchhike on people’s belongings and any objects you bring into your household, or they fly or crawl through your windows and any cracks in your house’s structure.
Carpet beetles, for example, are among those pesky little creatures found in people’s homes particularly in your textiles. As its name suggests, carpet beetles are known to inhabit the carpeting of a household. However, these destructive insects also dwell in clothing, upholstered furniture, and other stuffed or padded items. Besides upholstery, they also prefer dark areas where dander or fur is present.
What are Carpet Beetles?
If you discover holes in your carpets, clothes, and other textiles within your home, it is very likely that you have a carpet beetle infestation. However, it must be noted that carpet beetles cause havoc on the textiles of your home during their larval stage, not on their adult stage. Carpet beetle larvae are also called “woolly bears” since they look like tiny hairy caterpillars. They typically feed on natural fibers such as cotton, wool clothing, blankets, and linens. Nevertheless, other species of carpet beetles eat dead insects, hair, potpourri, flour, pasta, and corn meal.
Once they become an adult, carpet beetles turn round in shape (less than 6mm long) and grow antennae and six legs. They come in different colors: black, white, orange (or tan), or a combination of these colors.
These creepy pests lay at least 100 eggs in just one attempt; these eggs take around 10 to 30 days to hatch. As previously mentioned, it is during their larval stage that carpet beetles are most destructive.
How Do We Eliminate Carpet Beetles and their Larvae?
It is definitely important to get rid of carpet beetles immediately after you suspect an infestation. Carpet beetles are not easily detected since their eggs are too small to be easily spotted by the naked eye. However, as soon as you see signs of damage such as small holes or bare spots in your carpets and other fabric inside your home, you have to instantly take action by applying the following pest control tips:
1. Boric Acid
Boric acid serves as an insect poison that hinders metabolism of carpet beetles; you can use boric acid in powder form and directly sprinkle it lightly all over the infested textiles or fibers. Wait for a few hours and then vacuum the area thoroughly. Another option is to mix Boric Acid with hot water so can create an insecticide spray to be applied on your textiles.
2. Flying Insect Fogger
Besides flying insect sprays, foggers come in handy when it comes to getting rid of adult carpet beetles especially the female ones, which would keep reproducing and laying eggs if not killed.
3. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a popular inexpensive DIY solution to various bugs like carpet beetles. This desiccant is applied in ways similar to that of Boric Acid. It dehydrates carpet beetles and instantly kills them, including their larvae.
To avoid hazards, make sure to read the instructions at the back of the label before you apply the insecticide. Insecticides containing cyfluthrin, bifenthrin, and deltamethrin are best for treating carpet beetle infestation.
5. Vacuum Cleaning
One way to eradicate carpet beetles and their larvae before they can generate further damage is by sucking them up out of their hiding spaces. Thus, use the nozzle vacuum cleaner and focus on the areas, including cracks and crevices, where carpet beetles normally gather and dwell on.
Another DIY method that is effective in terms of killing carpet beetles and their woolly bears is vinegar. You can spray apple cider or white vinegar directly on upholstery, clothes, and rugs. Another way would be to wash linens and clothes in water mixed with vinegar.
One thing we should bear in mind is the fact that carpet beetles inhabit fabrics that are soiled or dirty. Therefore, to prevent these winged pests from invading your home, you have to keep your textiles and overall surroundings clean at all times. Also, make sure to store your food in airtight containers and then block all possible entry points like windows, cracks, and holes around your house structure. Most importantly, call and consult a pest control professional if you suspect a carpet beetle infestation inside your home.